Washington County vs. Rhode Island
Comparative Trends Analysis:
Total Employment Growth and Change, 1969-2016
Introduction
Washington County:
2016 Jobs = 79,967
2016 Percent of State = 12.6%
Rhode Island:
2016 Jobs = 633,662
2016 Percent of State = 0.3%
Employment numbers remain the most popular and frequently cited statistics used for tracking local area economic conditions and trends. The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) employment estimates reported measure the number of full- and part-time wage and salary employees, plus the number of proprietors of unincorporated businesses. People holding more than one job are counted in the employment estimates for each job they hold. This means BEA employment estimates represent a job count, not a people count. Also, BEA employment is by place-of-work, rather than by place-of-residence. Jobs held by neighboring county residents who commute to Washington County to work are included in the employment count for Washington County.
Data Definition:
The BEA employment series for states and local areas comprises estimates of the number of jobs, full-time plus part-time, by place of work. Full-time and part-time jobs are counted at equal weight. Employees, sole proprietors, and active partners are included, but unpaid family workers and volunteers are not included. Proprietors employment consists of the number of sole proprietorships and the number of partners in partnerships. The description "by place of work" applies to the wage and salary portion of the series and, with relatively little error, to the entire series. The proprietors employment portion of the series, however, is more nearly by place of residence because, for nonfarm sole proprietorships, the estimates are based on IRS tax data that reflect the address from which the proprietor's individual tax return is filed, which is usually the proprietor's residence. The nonfarm partnership portion of the proprietors employment series reflects the tax-filing address of the partnership, which may be either the residence of one of the partners or the business address of the partnership. The employment estimates are designed to be consistent with the estimates of wage and salary disbursements and proprietors' income that are part of the personal income series. The employment estimates are based on the same sets of source data as the corresponding earnings estimates and are prepared with parallel methodologies. Two forms of proprietors' income-the income of limited partnerships and the income of tax-exempt cooperatives-have no corresponding employment estimates.
Total Employment, 1969-2016
Total Employment, 1969-2016
Figure 1.
Figure 1 traces Washington County's annual total employment for the period 1969-2016 to illustrate total employment patterns over time. During this 48-year period, Washington County's total employment rose from 39,826 in 1969 to 79,967 in 2016, for a net gain of 40,141, or 100.8%.
Total Employment, 1969-2016
Total Employment, 1969-2016
Figure 2.
Figure 2 traces Rhode Island's annual total employment for the period 1969-2016 to illustrate total employment patterns over time. During this 48-year period, Rhode Island's total employment rose from 440,080 in 1969 to 633,662 in 2016, for a net gain of 193,582, or 44.0%.
Total Employment Indices (1969=100): 1969-2016
Total Employment Indices (1969=100): 1969-2016
Figure 3.
Figure 3 shows Washington County's total employment growth in a broader context by offering direct comparisons across time with Rhode Island, the United States. The growth indices shown here express each region's total employment in 1969 as a base figure of 100, and the total employments in later years as a percentage of the 1969 base figure. This method allows for more direct comparison of differences in total employment growth between regions that may differ vastly in size.
Washington County's overall total employment growth was 100.8% over 1969-2016 outpaced Rhode Island's increase of 44.0%, and fell below the United States' increase of 112.7%.
Total Employment as a Percent of the Rhode Island Total: 1969-2016
Total Employment as a Percent of the Rhode Island Total: 1969-2016
Figure 4.
Another interesting and insightful way of contrasting the total employment growth of Washington County is to trace its individual percentage contributions to Rhode Island's statewide total employment over time, as shown in Figure 4. A rising share means a region's total employment grew faster—or declined less—than Rhode Island's total employment, while a declining share shows it grew more slowly.
In 1969, Washington County's total employment comprised 9.0% of Rhode Island's total employment, while in 2016 it totaled 12.6% thereby yielding a +3.6% share-shift.
   
 
Total Employment Share-Shift
2016 vs. 1969
 
Share-
Shift*
 
2016
vs.
1969
+3.57%
=
12.62%
-
9.05%
 
   
Washington County Total Employment:
Annual Percent Change, 1970-2016
Washington County Total Employment:
Annual Percent Change, 1970-2016
Figure 5.
Figure 5 displays the short-run pattern of Washington County's total employment growth by tracking the year-to-year percent change over 1970-2016. The average annual percent change for the entire 47-year period is also traced on this chart to provide a benchmark for gauging periods of relative high--and relative low--growth against the backdrop of the long-term average.
On average, Washington County's total employment grew at an annual rate of 1.57% over 1970-2016. The county posted its highest growth in 1977 (11.59%) and posted its lowest growth in 1974 (-14.99%). In 2016, Washington County's total employment grew by 0.76%
Washington County Total Employment:
Annual Percent Change and Decade Averages Over 1970-2016
Washington County Total Employment:
Annual Percent Change and Decade Averages Over 1970-2016
Figure 6.
Over the past four decades some counties have experienced extreme swings in growth, and often such swings have tended to coincide with the decades themselves. Figure 6 again illustrates the annual percent change in Washington County's total employment since 1970, but this time they are overlayed with average growth rates for the decade of the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and 2010-2016.
During the 1970s, Washington County's annual total employment growth rate averaged 0.92%. It averaged 2.86% throughout the 1980s, 0.95% throughout the 1990s, 1.73% during the 2000s, and 1.30% thus far this decade (2010 to 2016).
Total Employment Growth:
Average Annual Percent Change by Decade
Total Employment Growth:
Average Annual Percent Change by Decade
Figure 7.
Figure 7 compares the decade average growth rates for Washington County noted in the previous graph with the corresponding decade averages for Rhode Island and the nation. As the chart reveals, Washington County's average annual total employment growth lagged Rhode Island's average in the 1970s (0.92% vs. 0.98%), recorded above Rhode Island's average during the 1980s (2.86% vs. 1.51%), recorded above Rhode Island's average in the 1990s (0.95% vs. 0.11%), outgained Rhode Island's average throughout the 2000s (1.73% vs. 0.45%), and surpassed Rhode Island's average over the 7 year period of the last decade, 2010-2016 (1.30% vs. 1.02%).
Finally, relative to nationwide total employment growth trends, Washington County posted below the nation throughout the 1970s (0.92% vs. 2.21%), led the nation in the 1980s (2.86% vs. 1.88%), posted below the nation during the 1990s (0.95% vs. 1.73%), recorded above the nation in the 2000s (1.73% vs. 0.77%), and fell under the nation over 2010-2016 (1.30% vs. 1.53%).
   
 
Total Employment Growth:
Average Annual Percent Change
 
 
 
1.57
0.92
2.86
0.95
1.73
1.30
0.76
 
0.80
0.98
1.51
0.11
0.45
1.02
1.01
 
1.63
2.21
1.88
1.73
0.77
1.53
1.70
 
   
Job Ratios (Employment/Population): 1969-2016
Job Ratios (Employment/Population): 1969-2016
Figure 8.
The job ratios shown in Figure 8 for Washington County, Rhode Island and the nation not only portray a number of important trends, they also serves as a thumbnail guide to evaluating an economy's capacity to generate enough jobs fast enough to absorb the increasing number of workers attendant to a growing population. The job ratio is the number of full-time and part-time jobs by place of work, divided by population.
Nationally, the job ratio rose from 0.45 to 0.60 between 1969 and 2016. Washington County's job ratio registered 0.48 in 1969, and 0.63 in 2016. Underlying the rising job ratio over the past several decades have been the increases in the labor force participation rates, with the number and proportion of women in the labor market playing a leading role.
An assortment of other factors can contribute to regional differences in the job ratio. They include differences in the proportion of elderly and retirees who no longer work and participate in the labor force, differences in the number and proportion of part-time vs. full-time workers, differences in industry composition, and differences in age and sex distribution and degree of urbanization. Also, a disproportionate number of workers commuting to work outside a county tends to lower its local county job ratio, while a net inflow of workers commuting to work inside the county tends to augment its local county job ratio.
Avoid interpreting the job ratio as the fraction (or percent) of the local population employed. This interpretation should only apply to the "employment-population ratio" statistic compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) from the Current Population Survey (CPS).
Job Ratios (Employment/Population)
as a Percent of the U.S. Average:
1969-2016
Job Ratios (Employment/Population)
as a Percent of the U.S. Average:
1969-2016
Figure 9.
To highlight trends in a local job ratio relative to nationwide trends, Figure 9 tracks Washington County's, Rhode Island's job ratio as a percent of the national job ratio over 1969-2016.
   
 
Washington County:
Total Employment, 1969-2016
 
1969
 
39,826
100.0
N
9.05
0.48
106.21
1970
 
39,125
98.2
-1.76
8.88
0.46
101.73
1971
 
37,834
95.0
-3.30
8.67
0.43
97.82
1972
 
38,588
96.9
1.99
8.63
0.43
94.52
1973
 
37,434
94.0
-2.99
8.28
0.40
85.80
1974
 
31,821
79.9
-14.99
7.24
0.37
78.58
1975
 
32,179
80.8
1.13
7.59
0.38
83.61
1976
 
35,796
89.9
11.24
8.10
0.42
88.92
1977
 
39,946
100.3
11.59
8.70
0.45
94.62
1978
 
40,569
101.9
1.56
8.56
0.45
90.12
1979
 
42,481
106.7
4.71
8.79
0.46
90.82
1980
 
45,204
113.5
6.41
9.33
0.48
96.28
1981
 
45,730
114.8
1.16
9.46
0.48
96.65
1982
 
44,938
112.8
-1.73
9.47
0.47
95.52
1983
 
46,019
115.6
2.41
9.58
0.48
97.54
1984
 
48,538
121.9
5.47
9.64
0.50
97.23
1985
 
50,223
126.1
3.47
9.68
0.50
96.95
1986
 
52,351
131.4
4.24
9.75
0.51
97.41
1987
 
53,946
135.5
3.05
9.88
0.51
96.20
1988
 
56,088
140.8
3.97
10.02
0.52
95.37
1989
 
56,172
141.0
0.15
10.02
0.52
93.86
1990
 
56,338
141.5
0.30
10.23
0.51
92.10
1991
 
54,812
137.6
-2.71
10.46
0.49
90.44
1992
 
55,993
140.6
2.15
10.58
0.50
92.44
1993
 
57,559
144.5
2.80
10.79
0.51
93.75
1994
 
57,995
145.6
0.76
10.88
0.51
92.35
1995
 
57,830
145.2
-0.28
10.78
0.50
89.63
1996
 
56,963
143.0
-1.50
10.55
0.49
86.57
1997
 
57,848
145.3
1.55
10.60
0.49
85.97
1998
 
60,166
151.1
4.01
10.83
0.50
87.12
1999
 
61,638
154.8
2.45
10.90
0.50
86.96
2000
 
63,205
158.7
2.54
10.86
0.51
87.01
2001
 
64,285
161.4
1.71
10.98
0.51
88.55
2002
 
66,642
167.3
3.67
11.33
0.53
91.77
2003
 
68,113
171.0
2.21
11.46
0.54
93.53
2004
 
70,055
175.9
2.85
11.61
0.55
94.83
2005
 
71,985
180.7
2.75
11.87
0.56
96.76
2006
 
72,254
181.4
0.37
11.81
0.57
96.57
2007
 
74,190
186.3
2.68
11.98
0.58
97.90
2008
 
74,553
187.2
0.49
12.21
0.59
99.63
2009
 
73,068
183.5
-1.99
12.38
0.57
100.82
2010
 
72,947
183.2
-0.17
12.43
0.57
102.62
2011
 
73,878
185.5
1.28
12.47
0.58
103.26
2012
 
74,607
187.3
0.99
12.57
0.59
103.66
2013
 
75,984
190.8
1.85
12.61
0.60
104.21
2014
 
77,477
194.5
1.96
12.62
0.61
104.78
2015
 
79,360
199.3
2.43
12.65
0.63
105.87
2016
 
79,967
200.8
0.76
12.62
0.63
105.65
Source: Calculations by the Rhode Island Regional Economic Analysis Project (RI-REAP)
with data provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis
November 2017
REAP_PI_CA1400_1000_PSN
 
   
   
 
Rhode Island:
Total Employment, 1969-2016
 
1969
 
440,080
100.0
N
0.48
0.47
104.39
1970
 
440,434
100.1
0.08
0.48
0.46
103.45
1971
 
436,230
99.1
-0.95
0.48
0.45
102.20
1972
 
447,168
101.6
2.51
0.47
0.46
101.63
1973
 
452,029
102.7
1.09
0.46
0.46
99.24
1974
 
439,492
99.9
-2.77
0.44
0.46
98.22
1975
 
423,718
96.3
-3.59
0.43
0.45
97.54
1976
 
442,018
100.4
4.32
0.44
0.47
99.60
1977
 
459,260
104.4
3.90
0.44
0.48
100.60
1978
 
474,204
107.8
3.25
0.43
0.50
100.31
1979
 
483,338
109.8
1.93
0.43
0.51
100.28
1980
 
484,272
110.0
0.19
0.42
0.51
101.75
1981
 
483,652
109.9
-0.13
0.42
0.51
101.34
1982
 
474,725
107.9
-1.85
0.42
0.50
100.96
1983
 
480,235
109.1
1.16
0.42
0.50
101.51
1984
 
503,670
114.4
4.88
0.42
0.52
102.45
1985
 
518,775
117.9
3.00
0.42
0.54
102.90
1986
 
536,778
122.0
3.47
0.43
0.55
104.48
1987
 
546,024
124.1
1.72
0.42
0.55
103.19
1988
 
559,738
127.2
2.51
0.42
0.56
102.83
1989
 
560,370
127.3
0.11
0.41
0.56
101.50
1990
 
550,468
125.1
-1.77
0.40
0.55
98.74
1991
 
523,917
119.1
-4.82
0.38
0.52
95.30
1992
 
529,175
120.2
1.00
0.38
0.52
97.02
1993
 
533,447
121.2
0.81
0.38
0.53
97.03
1994
 
532,959
121.1
-0.09
0.37
0.52
95.73
1995
 
536,250
121.9
0.62
0.36
0.53
94.92
1996
 
539,724
122.6
0.65
0.36
0.53
94.28
1997
 
545,955
124.1
1.15
0.35
0.53
93.94
1998
 
555,343
126.2
1.72
0.35
0.54
93.74
1999
 
565,403
128.5
1.81
0.35
0.54
93.88
2000
 
581,956
132.2
2.93
0.35
0.55
94.54
2001
 
585,243
133.0
0.56
0.35
0.55
95.31
2002
 
588,342
133.7
0.53
0.36
0.55
96.12
2003
 
594,487
135.1
1.04
0.36
0.55
96.96
2004
 
603,187
137.1
1.46
0.36
0.56
97.23
2005
 
606,558
137.8
0.56
0.35
0.57
97.27
2006
 
612,047
139.1
0.90
0.35
0.58
97.54
2007
 
619,218
140.7
1.17
0.34
0.59
98.07
2008
 
610,469
138.7
-1.41
0.34
0.58
97.95
2009
 
590,443
134.2
-3.28
0.34
0.56
98.67
2010
 
586,895
133.4
-0.60
0.34
0.56
99.61
2011
 
592,408
134.6
0.94
0.34
0.56
99.52
2012
 
593,311
134.8
0.15
0.33
0.56
98.80
2013
 
602,633
136.9
1.57
0.33
0.57
99.21
2014
 
613,688
139.4
1.83
0.33
0.58
99.49
2015
 
627,330
142.5
2.22
0.33
0.59
100.15
2016
 
633,662
144.0
1.01
0.33
0.60
100.08
Source: Calculations by the Rhode Island Regional Economic Analysis Project (RI-REAP)
with data provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis
November 2017
REAP_PI_CA1400_1000_PSN
 
   
   
 
United States:
Total Employment, 1969-2016
 
1969
 
91,053,200
100.0
N
0.45
1970
 
91,277,600
100.2
0.25
0.45
1971
 
91,581,400
100.6
0.33
0.44
1972
 
94,312,200
103.6
2.98
0.45
1973
 
98,427,500
108.1
4.36
0.47
1974
 
100,111,800
109.9
1.71
0.47
1975
 
98,900,600
108.6
-1.21
0.46
1976
 
101,591,200
111.6
2.72
0.47
1977
 
105,042,200
115.4
3.40
0.48
1978
 
109,686,600
120.5
4.42
0.49
1979
 
113,147,100
124.3
3.15
0.50
1980
 
113,983,200
125.2
0.74
0.50
1981
 
114,914,000
126.2
0.82
0.50
1982
 
114,163,300
125.4
-0.65
0.49
1983
 
115,645,700
127.0
1.30
0.49
1984
 
120,528,100
132.4
4.22
0.51
1985
 
123,796,700
136.0
2.71
0.52
1986
 
126,232,300
138.6
1.97
0.53
1987
 
129,548,400
142.3
2.63
0.53
1988
 
133,563,900
146.7
3.10
0.55
1989
 
136,177,800
149.6
1.96
0.55
1990
 
138,330,900
151.9
1.58
0.55
1991
 
137,612,800
151.1
-0.52
0.54
1992
 
138,166,100
151.7
0.40
0.54
1993
 
140,774,400
154.6
1.89
0.54
1994
 
144,196,600
158.4
2.43
0.55
1995
 
147,915,800
162.4
2.58
0.56
1996
 
151,056,200
165.9
2.12
0.56
1997
 
154,541,200
169.7
2.31
0.57
1998
 
158,481,200
174.1
2.55
0.57
1999
 
161,531,300
177.4
1.92
0.58
2000
 
165,370,800
181.6
2.38
0.59
2001
 
165,519,200
181.8
0.09
0.58
2002
 
165,159,100
181.4
-0.22
0.57
2003
 
166,026,500
182.3
0.53
0.57
2004
 
169,036,700
185.6
1.81
0.58
2005
 
172,557,400
189.5
2.08
0.58
2006
 
176,123,600
193.4
2.07
0.59
2007
 
179,885,700
197.6
2.14
0.60
2008
 
179,639,900
197.3
-0.14
0.59
2009
 
174,233,700
191.4
-3.01
0.57
2010
 
173,034,700
190.0
-0.69
0.56
2011
 
176,278,700
193.6
1.87
0.57
2012
 
179,081,700
196.7
1.59
0.57
2013
 
182,408,100
200.3
1.86
0.58
2014
 
186,354,800
204.7
2.16
0.58
2015
 
190,422,800
209.1
2.18
0.59
2016
 
193,668,400
212.7
1.70
0.60
Source: Calculations by the Rhode Island Regional Economic Analysis Project (RI-REAP)
with data provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis
November 2017
REAP_PI_CA1400_1000_PN
 
   
Copyright © 2017. Pacific Northwest Regional Economic Analysis Project (PNREAP). All Rights Reserved.

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